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and said he was modestly optimistic about a deal on taxes. meeting this the red room, president obama held firm for tax cuts for families making up to $250,000 per year, and joining me on the north lawn of the white house is kristen welker. kristen, let's listen to what the president said about and up or down vote or what he expects from the senate. >> i had a good and constructive discussion here with the leadership about this tax hike on the middle-class. i am optimistic that we can reach an agreement that will be passed in both houses. if an agreement is not reached in time between senator reid and senator mcconnell, then i will urge senator reid to bring to the floor and up or down vote for the floor, and i believe a p proposal could pass both houses with majorities as long as the leaders allow it to actually come to a vote. if members of the house or the senate want to vote no, they can. but we should let everybody vote. >> kristen, this up or down vote seems to be be the big news of the day, and isn't this what the white house wanted all along? >> well, it is. it is prp's way of sayi
. pretty cool, huh? >> and a little later what we can expect from first lady michelle obama in her second term. that and a christmas story that is bound to warm your heart. we begin with this live image from honolulu, hawaii where the president and first lady have just arrived. hundreds of hawaiians started gathering saturday to welcome the senator home and pay respects. inouye was a recipient for the medal of honor for his braver. kristen welker joins me now from honolulu. a warm christmas, i see. >> reporter: yes indeed. it is lovely here. >> the president is on christmas vacation and so is congress. that doesn't mean they don't have work to do as the fiscal cliff looms. i take it this is a working vacation. >> reporter: white house officials have described this as a working vacation and talks are going on behind the scenes between white house staffers and hill staffers. the reality is the bulk of this probably won't get done until after christmas when lawmakers are expected to resume negotiations. there is a lot of frustration especially among senior members in both parties in part bec
the start of the new year, it's put up or shut up time for congressional leaders. president obama addressed reporters from the white house this evening. roughly an hour after meeting with leaders of the house and senate. >> i still want to get this done. it's the right thing to do for our families, for our businesses, and for our entire economy. but the hour for immediate action is here. it is now. >> senate leaders harry reid and mitch mcconnell were back at the capitol in no time. mcconnell gathered his members to inform them of the work that needs to be done. >> we had a good meeting down at the white house. we are engaged in discussions, the majority leader and myself and the white house, in the hopes that we can come forward, as early as sunday, and have a recommendation, that i can make to my conference and the majority leader can make to his conference, so we'll be working hard to try to see if we can get there in the next 24 hours. so i'm hopeful and optimistic. >> i'm going to do everything that i can. i'm confident senator mcconnell will do the same. but everybody, this is -- what
tantaros, juliet huddy. this is "the five." >> kimberly: congressional leaders met with president obama at the white house in a last-ditch effort to come to agreement on the fiscal cliff but neither side is optimistic that a deal will be reached by the deadline. what will it mean for american people? eric? >> eric: well, i'm on the record saying we should name it the obama cliff and swan dive off of it. the only way the democrats will cut spending, because they're forceed in to it. if nothing happens, and the deal is not truck, people paycheck get smaller because the payroll taxes expire. people will have to pay in their taxes to a different way. the alternative minimum tax won't be patched and we'll have to be addressed as well. taxes will go up. spending cuts over time will happen as well. i think the stock market will be hit hard. i have the most to lose than anyone i know but the only way to fix the economy. >> eric: president obama wants tax cuts to expire for everyone except those making under $250,000 a year. john boehner plan "b" making $1 million. this looked like president oba
, not once in the time has president obama demanded that the senate do their job. this is the height of irresponsibility. number four, the president's main focus has been to attack republicans again and again yet republicans they have done their job. they passed a bill months ago to avoid this fiscal cliff. now, that bill has been come meetly ignored by -- completely ignored by senate democrats and by the president. number five the worse part of all there is nothing here that the president is proprosing that deals with the real clear present danger that america now faces. reckless borrowing, reckless spending generational theft that brings america to the point of bankruptcy. the president has given the country over $6 trillion in new debt. trillion dollars deficits as far as the eye can see and all he wants to fight for is higher taxes that will fund a mere 8 and a half days of government. frankly nothing but a pathetic disgrace. you the american people deserve a government that lives within its means. you deserve a government that is not obsessed with using your money to accumulate
wish to god she had had an m-4 in her office. >> michelle obama gets definitive on a future run for office. and tonight, i will deliver my verdict on spike lee versus "django unchained." >> what's your name? >> django. >>> with little more than four days until the fiscal cliff, we now know that all the relevant parties will be in washington in three days. that's right. three days from now. on sunday evening before the redskins beat the cowboys. the house will finally reconvene. why? is it to finally strike a deal? honestly, no one knows. but one thing is certain. house speaker john boehner and his fellow republicans could no longer weather the incredibly bad optics of sitting at home while the president of the united states and the senate were in washington. president obama arrived back at the white house this morning. the president will host a meeting tomorrow afternoon with senate majority leader reid, senate minority leader mcconnell, speaker boehner, and leader pelosi at the white house. senate majority leader harry reid took to the senate floor this morning to, shall we say
. with me today, ben stein. steve cornaki is joining us, as well. president obama returned to washington moments ago, cutting short his christmas vacation. the president has now spoken with all four congressional leaders, according to the white house communications director he. the house remains on vacation, but there are a few signs of life in the capital. gop leaders have released a new statement with an old message to the senate. the ball is in your court. the statement says the house will take action on whatever the senate can pass, but the senate first must act. well, this morning, senate majority leader reid slammed the house republicans not not even showing up. >> if we go over the cliff, and it looks like that's where we are headed, the house of representatives as we speak with four days left after today before the first of the year aren't here with the speaker having told them they will give them 48 hours inside. i can't imagine their conscious. >> well, senator reid is expected to hold a news conference about the talks this afternoon. so here is where we stand. reid wants to ge
: president obama summoned congressional leaders to the white house today hoping for a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. the power brokers have four days before the government starts slashing military and domestic spending. president obama is pushing for a stop gap measure that with avoid faxes on people earning less than $25,000. on capitol hill frustration is growing. both republicans and democrats sound look they have given up. outside the capitol democrats hauled out a times square ball prop with the emergency, don't drop the ball. >> the republicans refuse to ask those with the most in our society to give a little bit more. >> reporter: a simple stop gap measure is not what many in washington had hoped for. republicans blame president obama for the collapse of a bigger deal that would have cut spending and reduced the country's debt. >> it is the president's responsibility to lay out a plan and to bring people together but it's a total dereliction of duty and a lack of courage to deal with the issues. >> it rests in the hands of the senate. >>> president obama is scheduled to give
president obama who had been concerned that they were not going to act and challenging them for an up and down vote said he was optimistic. here's the president after that meeting. >> i just had a good and constructive discussion at the white house with senate and house leadership about how to prevent this tax hike on the middle class and i'm optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time. >> now what would be in that mini deal? we're talking about tax increases for people at near the top of the income scale. the question is the threshold, 400 or $500,000 are the likely places that that could end up. it would likely turn off the automatic sequester by using some of the revenue from the tax increases to account as budget cuts and turn off they is quester and it would also extend unemployment benefits and do the so-called doc fix to prevent reimbursements from declining and also have a milk fix, michelle that would prevent the doubling of milk prices which would occur without an extension of subsidies. >> why aren't people more optimistic? i have
when president obama calls mitch mcconnell, bring the republican leader in the process. what happens now is very important. as sam said, they'll be negotiating today and over the weekend in the senate. and if this $250,000 comes to the floor, if a few republicans attach themselves to what reid and obama agree to, then that means when it pose gophers to the house it has a much better chance of attracting republican support. if mitch mcconnell aligns republicans and tells everyone to oppose it in the senate republican conference, the chances of it succeeding in the house are pretty low. >> sam, is this the end of the road for grover norquist and his pledge? >> it's odd because grover was the one sort of outside government institution on the conservative side who agreed with speaker boehner's plan "b" which would have allowed taxes to go up above $1 million in income. all the other conservative groups say no. i think grover's pledge, i don't know where it goes from here. obviously is doesn't have as much teeth as is it did because there are people who are willing to buck it. >> i think
of it and we've seen president obama take this tactic before. during the payroll tax cut fight, you'll remember he ran out and talked to people in different states and tried to ramp up pressure congress in that way. last night president obama came out, addressed the nation and again tried to turn up the heat on congress by saying essentially that americans are fed up. he tries to bring the public into this debate to increase pressure, so certainly the interview on "meet the press," currently a part of that strategy and the president and his staffers watching these negotiations quite closely going on behind the scenes. >> kristen welker, thanks. we'll come back to you later. >> over to capitol hill now, luke russert is standing by. luke, what are you hearing, if anything, about progress today? >> reporter: this morning, craig, there were a hints of optimism and that's subsided to a degree. as kristen mentioned. there are sources close to the talks that say no deal has been reached and again, these negotiations are fluid. they go up and down. it's not an easy road to get to these things at the en
? does he blink obama's plan to the floor or try to work with mcconnell in this 11th hour. you will have a tough vote for many house republicans. if that level is at 250 and it includes unemployment, make it so republicans may not. >> joy, do you think we have a deal? >> you know, ill'm still very dubious. but if there is a deal, it will be with a majority of democrats in the house and there's a political risk for boehner in that. >> thank you. you've been watching "hardball." we'll be back in one hour with an all-new live edition. until then, "politics nation" starts rite now. >> thanks, richard. thanks to you for tuning in. breaking news, president obama urges congress to make a deal to overt the fiscal cliff. he announces no deal, but progress may be in sight. >> and that would be the wrong thing to do for our e con mu. it would be bad for middle class families and bad for businesses that depend on family spending. fortunately, congress can prevent it from happening if they act right now. i just had a good and constructive discussion here at the white house about how to prevent this t
? >> i know that president obama takes this very, very seriously, and i know that barbara lee and a number of the members of the house have been really pushing this, as it's something not to be forgotten in the fiscal cliff fight. i put my faith in them to continue to raise this flag and to say, we cannot let congress leave washington without taking care of these folks. >> john nichols, as always, thank you so very much, my friend. that's it for the ed show. >>> brother ezra, always good to see you, my friend. >> good to see you too, and happy friday. and thanks to you at home for sticking around for the next hour. rachel's got the night off, but we learned something huge today. we are going over the fiscal cliff. we are going either all the way over or going partly over, but we are definitely, definitely going over. that whole fiscal cliff thing, where congress and the white house can't reach a deal on taxes and spending before the end of the year and they maybe get us into a recession, it's definitely happening. that was the whole point of president obama's press conference
the president tried for weeks to get agreement on plan "a," $4 trillion debt creel. mr. obama has taken initiative to bring plan "c" to the meeting today. >> this is not for show. this is a last ditch effort by the president to bring congressional leaders together to get at least a small deal together before the new year to avoid some of the tax parts of the fiscal cliff. it would keep tax cuts for the making $250,000 a year or less, extending unemployment benefit and with the clock ticking delay dramatic spending cuts until next year. >> i asked leaders of congress to work toward the package to prevent tax hike on middle class americans protects unemployment surance for 2 million americans. lays the groundwork for work on growth and deficit reduction. that is an achievable goal. >> today's meeting is the first with the president since november 16. sign for republicans that mr. obama has not really been pushing that hard for a deal. >> we need presidential leadership on in the just taxing rich people. >> three words the president did not use. he did not use the word sequester and he did
adam: i'm adam shapiro in for melissa francis. here's what's "money" tonight. president obama and congressional leaders try to pull off a fiscal cliff hail mary. their last-ditch meeting at the white house desperately tries to land a deal but the report he hadly not putting any new offer on the table. we have the very latest for you. >>> not even the fiscal cliff can slow down the u.s. oil boom the production surge sets up huge windfalls for businesses outside the oil industry in 2013. who stand to reap the biggest gains? we'll drill down details so you can get in on this game. >>> iran launches war games in the strait of hormuz flexing its military muscle in the heart of the critical seaway for global oil supplies. is iran just sabre-rattling or gearing up for something much bigger? even when they say it's not, it is always about money. adam: and a good evening to you. melissa francis will be back after the first of the year but right now let's look at today's market headlines of the investors were largely gripped by unfolding events in washington regarding the fiscal cliff.
journal" is next. ♪ host: good morning , president obama is in hawaii this weekend for the christmas holiday with his family. he will join a congressional delegation later today led by harry reid in services in holland -- in honolulu for late senator daniel inouye passed away last week that congress will return monday to continue fiscal negotiations. we will look at the options ahead for the president as the january deadline looms but we want to begin with your comments on another debate front and center in washington following the tragic shooting in newtown, conn. -- that is gun-control. "the washington post" said a bitter fight ahead. the numbers are on your screen. we look at some of the headlines on the sunday morning beginning with "the connecticut post." - you can see the flag remaining at half staff outside one of the churches in newtown, conn. following the burial of 20 children and six women killed about a week and a half ago. this is from the front page of today's "new york daily news." finally, from the front page is this report about what is ahead in terms of the gun cont
determined by the exceptional success of people such as barack obama and oprah winfrey." and she makes a great point there, but at the same time can they be representative of the aspirations of the group at the same time? her point is brilliant but -- joe louis represented our interests. >> sure. sometimes exceptionalism works against the african-american community. but also they reflect our current moment. there's something to be said about the way race operates here and reflects our society today. >> dr. james peterson, thank you so much. that's "the ed show." i'm michael eric dyson in for ed schultz. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. ezra klein is filling in for rachel tonight. not django. good evening, ezra. >> good evening, michael. thank you very much. and thank you to you at home for sticking around for the next hour. rachel has a well-deserved night off. but today on the senate there was a rare sighting on the senate floor. especially around this time of year. right now the senate is usually a bit of a desolate place, but today at exactly 2:34 p.m. eastern standard tim
. that was the whole point of president obama's press conference this afternoon. >> i still want to get this done. it's the right thing to do for our families, for our businesses, and for our entire economy. but the hour for immediate action is here. it is now. >> allow me a quick update here. that press conference, it came after president obama met with john boehner and nancy pelosi and harry reid and mitch mcconnell, so all the key congressional leaders. and listen to the president here. >> the american people are watching what we do here. obviously, their patience is already thin. this is deja vu all over again. america wonders why it is that in this town for some reason, you can't get stuff done in an organized timetable. why everything always has to wait until the last minute. well, we're now at the last minute. and the american people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy. not right now. i just have to repeat. you know, outside of washington, nobody understands how it is that this seems to be a repeat pattern, over and over again. ordinary folk
>>> breaking news here. president obama, vice president biden, mcconnell, pelosi and reid and boehner are meeting to discuss the fiscal cliff. we are hearing the president's planning to present a smaller offer. for the latest, we bring in peter alexander from the white house and mike viqueira from capitol hill. peter, let's talk about what's going on at the white house meeting. i hear senators are optimistic about a mini deal which, of course, will raise taxes on those above $400,000. expand the amt, cut some spending. what are you hearing? >> reporter: well, hearing a lot of different things right now. one of the items and ruled by rumor and then denials and frustrations, toure. we know that we saw senators mcconnell and reid arriving a short time ago. we didn't pelosi and boehner arrive yet but the vice president joe biden got here a short time ago, as well. there's other reporting from the hill right now about the potential that the president is going to return to what was basically his original outlined plan. perhaps a smaller plan but a plan where the threshold would
with president obama at the white house. among the leaders, republican house speaker john boehner and senate minority leader mitch mcconnell. harry reid and nancy pelosi were there. steve chenevey live on capitol hill right now. >> that meeting at the white house lasted just a little more than an hour. they started at 3:10 and were done by 4:15. no major decisions were made. president, reportedly telling congressional leadership, if you do not have a better plan than i do by now, we need to get to voting on my plan. the clock is still ticking in advance of monday night's deadline. frustration being felt not just inside the capitol, but i constituents outside as well. >> i am a little worried about the future as well, for my kids mostly. >> it is a popular thought outside the capital. >> there is an understandable frustration. >> chris van hull and is hopeful a deal can be reached by tuesday, although it will likely be a smaller deal that addresses only the major parts of the fiscal cliff from taking effect. >> we have got to get on a larger agreement, to make sure we sustained a very fragile
on the edge of a fiscal cliff after a breakdown in talks on reaching a deal. president obama and lawmakers have left town taking a few days off for their christmas health. then it's back to the drawing bord and with budgeted talks in disarray, president obama and speaker john boehner are searching for a way to avoid tumbling over. >> we move forward together or we don't move forward at all. so, as we leave town for a few days to be with our families through the holidays. i hope it gives some perspective. >> we propose plans that democrats used to support but now they won't. i don't want taxes to go up. republicans don't want taxes to go up. but we only run the house, democrats continue to run washington. >> gregg: national correspondent steve centanni joins us live from washington. >> reporter: d.c. may be some shutting down for christmas but the clock hasn't stopped and fiscal cliff is closer than ever. no deal was reached this week to keep taxes from going up. joan boehner pulled plug on the plan "b" and he says it is now up to the president and g.o.p. is continuing to hammer away at pre
days away unless congress acts. one step forward, two steps back. president obama and republican lawmakers have been dancing that waltz for six weeks now, but the music stops when the countdown clock at the bottom of your screen runs out. so where do fiscal cliff talks stand at this critical hour? nbc's kristen welker is on the north lawn and luke russert are both following developments this saturday afternoon. kristen, i'll start with you. any indication at this particular point as to what's happening behind closed doors this afternoon? >> reporter: well, i think most of the action is going on in the hill where staffers with majority leader reid and minority leader mcconnell are trying to conjure up some last-minute deal and this plan would not be the grand bargain that john boehner started initially working on. that plan would have dealt with tax reform and deficit reduction and this will be a much more scaled back version that will deal with the issue of taxes and that is still the big sticking point, taxes. of course, democrats and president obama have called for tax rates to
of all, we want to say merry christmas. >> president obama is cutting short his christmas break with the fiscal cliff looming large. >> the fiscal cliff gets closer. congress now has six days left to make a deal. >> aloha, hawaii. >> to my republican colleagues, the ronald reagan model is if you get 80% of what you want, that's a pretty good day. >> they were this close. they were this close to a solution. >> he's going to get tax rate hikes. >> are we going over the cliff? >> i believe we are. >> be republican and be conservative and pass a bill that cuts tax. >> boehner has no control over his extreme right wing faction. >> should anybody's taxes be raised at this point? answer yes or no. >> no. no. ♪ >> we begin as president obama and the senate head back to washington set for one last effort to avert the first fiscal cliff. aloha means good-bye for the president as he packs bound for the white house tonight. the president cutting short his vacation leaving michelle and the girls behind as he gets back to work to try to prevent tax increases and spending cuts due to begin n
. that's option one. the green one. option two is less certain. president obama reportedly challenged congressional leaders from both parties on friday to come up with a deal better than the one he proposed. the center piece of which is that the top marginal tax rate will increase for those earning $250,000 or more from 35% to 39.6%. that's only on the amount earned above that threshold. obama has told congress either they come up with something better or put his proposal to a vote. he's betting even those who hate the idea of a tax increase on the rich will hate causing america to go over the fiscal cliff even more. okay. option three. that's the red box. that's one where america goes over the fiscal cliff. jessica yellin is cnn's chief white house correspondent. peer into the crystal ball for us, jessica. which of these scenarios is most likely? >> well, ali, i think that after yesterday it's slightly more likely that there will be some sort of agreement. that doesn't mean that there are a whole bunch of optimists running around d.c. saying it's going to get resolved. but what you d
on whatever the senate can pass, but the senate first must act. " president obama returned early from hawaii today, still pushing to extend tax cuts for the middle class, but raise rates on the well-off. aides said he made phone calls last night to speaker boehner and house minority leader nancy pelosi, as well as senator reid and his opposite number, minority leader mitch mcconnell. but today, mcconnell gave no indication of movement. >> last night i told the president we'd be happy to look at whatever he proposes, but the truth is we're coming up against a hard deadline here, and as i said this is a conversation we should have had months ago. and republicans aren't about to write a blank check for anything senate democrats put forward just because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff. >> reporter: adding to the urgency, treasury secretary timothy geithner warned he'll have to begin taking "extraordinary measures" to postpone a government default. the government is on track to hit its borrowing limit on monday, he said with no prospect of congressional action to raise the limit. here
with these talks says that president obama is not going to be offering anything new during this afternoon's meeting. he's essentially going to be saying what he said at the white house last friday when he called on congress to put forth a package that would extend bush era tax cuts for those making $250,000 or less, extend unemployment insurance benefits, as well as stave off some of those deep spending cuts that are set to go into effect. the president is going to make the argument that he believes this can pass through both houses, but, of course, there is a big question mark over that. i have been speaking with republican aides on the hill who say house republicans are really waiting to see what the senate does at this juncture before they weigh in on anything that the president might say during today's meeting. but, of course, we will have to wait and see what actually happens. we're hoping the congressional leaders will talk to us and we'll have more information about what happened. >> it seems the political dynamics essentially in this meeting are -- he's not putting anything new on the table
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> brown: president obama cuts short his vacation to head back to washington, while harry reid says the country is headed toward the fiscal cliff. good evening, i'm jeffrey brown. >> warner: and i'm margaret warner. on the "newshour" tonight, we have the latest on efforts to avert the looming deadline from todd zwillich of public radio international. >> brown: then, geo-politics and children: russia moves to end adoptions by american parents. >> warner: what austerity measures look like at street level: we have a report from athens. >> by the end of 2013 greece would have a worse depression than the great depression in the u.s. >> brown: a player in campaign politics, but what of the current debt debate? we talk with tea party ally, matt kibbe. >> warner: and as e.p.a. chief lisa jackson steps down, we assess the track record of the administration's environmental agency. >> brown: that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. b
mean is that the kind of new regulation of guns that president obama and vice president biden and a lot people like to see enacted early next year won't happen easily. it's a battle. the president and vice president are ready to lead the fight. it's going to take the american people getting organized, agitated, and talking to their members of congress. >> do you think the nra still has the clout it once did? they have several times been able to rally their folks on capitol hill to vote against extension of the gun ban, things like that. >> we'll see. i think this situation is different than the other acts of mass violence, columbine, aurora and virginia tech, because here those 20 beautiful innocent children, slaughtered and hit multiple times with bullets from that assault weapon. so we' see, but i tell you this. the strength of the nra is more than half of the adults in america have guns, own guns and have them in their homes. we have to convince them that none of the proposals will take their guns away. the proposals will make it harder, hopefully impossible for people to buy assault
a last-minute deal is even possible or whether this is now all about shifting blame. president obama and vice president biden are sitting down with house leaders. the guest list includes harry reid, who this time yesterday said he didn't see any way the fiscal cliff could be avoided. whatever the case, our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin will be watching. what can we really expect to come out of this meeting this afternoon? >> well, alina, we're not sure what really will come out of it. the ideal scenario would be if all sides agree to a scaled-down version of the fiscal cliff agreement that the president and spe speaker boehner had been discussing weeks ago and then senator mcconnell would agree that no republicans would block it in any way if he can promise that. he argues that he can't really make that promise but if e he could then speaker boehner would promise to bring it to a vote on the floor. all sides would shake hands and we'd have a deal before new year's. that seems highly unlikely. but that's what all sides are pushing for today. >> i think we can all agre
. the last chance for a deal might be today at 3:00. president obama has scheduled a meeting in the oval office with vice president biden by his side. he's hosting all the major players. the chances of success, depends on who you talk to. >> getting more optimistic. sometimes it's darkest before the dawn. >> this afternoons meetings feels much like optics. >> there are some signs of possible flexibility, but first of all it would be helpful if the house of representatives actually came back. right now we're at a stalemate, because the democrats haven't been willing to consider the issue of spending. >> i want to bring in perry bacon and it edward keith. most of that was just from today. is this meeting to hash out details or perhaps to save face bhf we go over the cliff? >> i would argue today's meeting is they actually thing the outlines of a deal are possible. the president will push today for some agreement in which the middle-class tax cuts are extended for everyone, while the higher rates go up, we also put off the rest of the details for later. the president is pushing for somethin
in the white house briefing room, president obama condemned congress for failing to resolve its differences in any normal way. >> christin, let's take a listen to what the president said about the up or down vote about what he expects to emerge from the senate. >> i just had a good and constructive discussion here at the white house with senate and house leadership about how to prevent this tax hike on the middle class. i'm optimistic. if an agreement isn't reached in time, between senate store reid and senator mcconnell, then i will urge senator reid to bring to the floor a basic package for an up or down vote. i believe such a proposal could pass with bipartisan majorities. >> this up or down vote seems to be the big news of the day. isn't this what the white house wanted all along? >> well, it is. it's president's obama's way of saying vote on his basic proposal. it would extend in employment insurance benefit and deal with unemployment insurance cuts. >> so the question is, could they actually get that many republicans to vote for this package that the president is calling for? >> but p
that every obama has tried to do. it's really over a tax increase, and for what? it's really to stop primary challenges. that's what this is all about. i mean, it's really bringing the country to a standstill for their own political short term. >> "new york times" is talking about the urgency issue in all of this, and lacking urgency that we have witnessed. they say, yeah, with days left before the fiscal punch lands, both sides are exhibiting little sense of urgency. rather than to foster progress. perry is that the biggest thing, the primaries moving out of this and how everything looks back? >> i think there are two things going on. the first is democrats generally feel they won a man dade. they're not backing down -- the second thing is the primary issue. you have members of congress say last week there was a proposal to raise taxes, and a lot of republicans said i can't vote for that, a million only tax increase. they were worried about primaries. that's driving this in a very strong way. >>> there are people in washington, d.c. that will tell us this is how it all happens. congressman
house. president obama called congressional leaders to the white house. the hope was he could hash out the framework for a possible deal. danielle nottingham joins us with the latest. okay, did they get it done, danielle? >> reporter: derek, we're just not sure what happened. all four leaders left the white house without speaking to the media. we can only assume that means this wasn't a productive meeting. top congress impressional leaders left the white house after a last-ditch fiscal k cliff meeting with president obama. the closed door meeting was an attempt to avoid the automatic tax headaches and spending cuts set to king at the start of the new year. with just three days to go republicans and democrats are still blaming each other. >> i want to thank all of you for being here to call upon the republicans not to drop the ball on the middle class. >> reporter: there was a new year's eve style rally saying the fiscal cliff ball is in the republicans court. >> it's republicans who are holding hostage the middle class in america so that the wealthy don't have to pay their fair share.
obama met with the four congressional leaders this afternoon just a few minutes away. steve handlesman has more. >> after the meeting, he called the president was optimistic and insistent, optimistic there can be a deal that will keep most americans' taxes from going up. here's the president gist now in the white house briefing room. >> i just had a good and constructive discussion here at the white house with start and house leadership about how to prevent this tax hike on the middle class. i'm optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time. senators reid and mcconnell are working on such an agreement as we speak. but if an agreement isn't reached in time between senator reid and senator mcconnell, then i will urge senator reid to bring to the floor a basic package for an up-or-down vote. one that protects the middle class from an income class hike. one that extends it to 2 million americans looking for a job and lays the groundwork for more economic growth and debt reduction. >> that leads to the insistent park, asking reith who control the se
faulkner. with just days to go until the fiscal cliff deadline president obama and top congressional leaders are set for a crucial meeting. expectations are low for a deal when house and senate leaders head to the white house this afternoon to meet there with president obama. lawmakers are increasingly looking at the period following the december 31st deadline we're told to come up with a fix to avoid massive tax hikes and spending cuts, affect lives of nearly every american many economists say could plunge the economy into another recession. chief white house correspondent ed henry live with the latest. so in this meeting, ed, is there any hope they will accomplish anything? >> reporter: well it is pretty low expectations, jon. what we're expecting when you talk to top officials of both parties the president will offer a scaled back plan, something he laid out lines friday before christmas here in the white house briefing room before he went to hawaii. where he said look, we have to scale back expectations. basically just extend middle class tax cuts. don't worry about the rates for
regulation of guns that president obama and vice president biden and a lot people would like to see enacted early next year, is not going to happen easily. it's going to be a battle. but the president and i think the vice president are ready to lead the fight. it's going to take the american people getting organized, agitated, and talking to their members of congress. >> do you think the nra still has the clout it once did? they have several times been able to rally their folks on capitol hill to vote against extension of the gun ban, things like that. >> we'll see. i mean, i think this situation is different than the other acts of mass violence, columbine, aurora, virginia tech, because here, you know, those 20 beautiful innocent and cause the loopholes to make sure the people who are in in his term "bad guys" don't have the opportunity to buy guns. >> the number of households that own a gun has gone down a bit, but there are a lot of guns out there. i want to read you actually on another part of this argument, and that is about the culture and about these video games. we now at least beli
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